The meeting was called to order by Mayor Brian L. Billings who led Council in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Larry Camp (South Point Biomass Generation, LLC) - Mayor Billings informed Council that the Department of Environmental Protection issued a citation for dumping on a location near Krodel Park. It has been determined that the property is actually owned by CSX and it has to be cleared of all debris by July 10, 2011. The Mayor then introduced Mr. Camp and he informed Council that he can assist the City with an alternative to spending tax dollars on disposal of wood wastes. He is assisting with a project to develop and construct a 200 megawatt wood-fired generating facility known as the South Point Power Project. The project will be located at the southern-most tip of Ohio at the intersection of Ohio, West Virginia, and Kentucky. Mr. Camp indicated they are working to have this project in place within the next six months to one year. The project is expected to generate 1.5 million mega-watts of electrical output per year and utilize approximately 1.6 million tons of wood waste per year. The City’s only obligation would be to provide a collection site and to allow local tree trimmers to use the collection site. Mayor Billings advised he thought the City could use the old dump site that is located near the Point Pleasant Boat launch as a collection site.
Councilman Gary Cotton made a motion to approve the minutes of the regular council meeting held May 9, 2011 and a second was given by Barbara Brown, and the motion passed 9-0. A motion was made by Councilwoman Brown to approve the minutes of the special council meeting held May 12, 2011 and a second was made by James Bowles. Motion to approve the special minutes passed 9-0. Ms. Leota Sang made a motion to approve the financial statements of the General, Coal Severance, Water and Sewer Funds for the month of May 2011. Ms. Linda Smith added the second and the motion passed unanimously. Councilwoman Smith made a motion to approve the outstanding obligations for the month of May 2011, and Ms. Sang seconded and the motion passed 9-0.
City Attorney R.F. Stein asked if any public comments were heard or received pertaining to the amendment made to Ordinance 905.02 concerning the powers and duties of the Street Tree Director. No comments being heard or received, Councilman James Bowles made a motion to approve the final reading of Ordinance 905.02 and Elaine Hunt added the second. The motion passed unanimously 9-0.
City Attorney Stein updated Council on the current status of the Corps of Engineers floodwall project. Stein stated the project is moving smoothly and he is trying to acquire rights of access for properties located upstream so the Corps can proceed. The project should be nearing completion by the end of summer.
Stein told Council he is still working with the Department of Highways concerning the possibility of obtaining property located at the old 6th Street bridge approach, which is now a parking lot located between the Iron Gate Grill and Point Pleasant Hardware. Stein asked Council to authorize him to act on the City’s behalf to obtain the property. Councilman Robert Doeffinger made a motion to allow City Attorney Stein to act on behalf of the City to acquire the said property for one dollar. Ms. Barbara Brown added the second and the motion carried.
Attorney Stein gave an update pertaining to the dismissal of the Franklin property suit. Stein advised he received a counterclaim from Attorney Dallas Kayser who represents the Franklin’s. Mr. Kayser advised that his client would be in agreement to dismiss the case if the City would agree to pay her attorney fees in the amount of $1,000. Stein indicated he felt the fees were a little steep and recommended negotiating the fee to $500. Mr. Doeffinger made a motion to offer a settlement of $500 and Councilwoman Smith followed with a second motion. Councilmember Sam Juniper stated he felt the suit should proceed since the official minutes are legally binding, not a recorded meeting. Attorney Stein advised he feels the City’s case would be weak. The City accepted the property by recording the deed and they now own the property and it is time to move on. Final call to approve $500 for dismissal of the case approved 8-1, with Mr. Juniper casting a no vote. Councilman Juniper then made a motion to sell the Franklin Property and was seconded by James Bowles. Mr. Doeffinger advised there are several issues with this property which make it difficult to sell. Attorney Stein advised it would be necessary to disclose the specific defects with the property prior to selling or auctioning. Stein also stated the suit issues need to be settled then the City could consider a public auction. Councilman Juniper withdrew his original motion.
Mr. Stein advised Council that he drafted a notice to address the Yeager property and he gave it to the City Inspector for his signature and signatures from the Enforcement Agency. Once the notice has all signatures required it will be sent certified.
Stein concluded with discussing annexation. He was asked to research annexation procedures and he provided Council with information for the three approaches. Stein recommended doing a boundary adjustment with the approval of the County Commission. Councilman Doeffinger recommended presenting a map to the Commission for review and then proceed accordingly. Ms. Smith indicated the City is servicing several areas that are beyond boundaries yet fees are not collected for the City. Councilman Cotton recommended working with the Board of Education since they receive various services from the City, then approach the Commission. Councilman Doeffinger advised he would speak with the Board of Education Superintendent and give a report to Council.
City Clerk Amber Tatterson read a resolution to accept a contract with the WV Development Office Community Participation grant program that provides $7,000 for continued development of a skateboard park. Councilman Marshall Bonecutter made a motion to accept the resolution and Ms. Sang added the second motion, and the motion carried. Clerk Tatterson read a resolution to accept a contract with the WV Development Office Community Participation grant program that provides $15,000 for street paving in the City of Point Pleasant. Leota Sang made a motion and was seconded by Mr. Bonecutter to accept the resolution. The motion passed unanimously.
Tatterson read a resolution to accept a contract with the WV Development Office Community Participation grant program that provides $20,000 for the Tram Project and Visitor Transportation showcasing the Riverfront Park Murals. Mr. Bonecutter made a motion to accept the resolution and Councilwoman Elaine Hunt added the second, which passed 9-0.
Clerk Tatterson informed Council the end of the fiscal year is approaching which requires a budget revision to the General Fund to prevent overspending in any one department. Tatterson stated this revision is required by the Auditor’s office and the deadline is June 15, 2011 and she discussed proposed revisions. Councilwoman Hunt made a motion to approve the proposed revisions and Ms. Leota Sang added the second motion, which passed 9-0.
Tatterson advised Council the Water and Sewer budgets would be addressed in the July Council meeting since the figures are still to be determined by the City Accountant. The budgets for these accounts are non-binding and are not required by the Public Service Commission (PSC). Tatterson also told Council that Accountant Dave Snowden advised the corrections to the annual PSC reports were made and submitted as required.
Clerk Tatterson informed Council that a vacancy needs to be filled on the Zoning Board. She stated that Mr. Juniper advised that he spoke with Keith Sargent and he is willing to serve the vacancy term until October 2013. Councilman Juniper made a motion to appoint Keith Sargent and Mr. Cotton added the second, which passed 9-0.
The Clerk stated the 8th Annual Rodder’s Car Club show is being held August 20, 2011. The organizers are asking for the City to continue their support by donating $300 as they have in the past. Ms. Smith made a motion to donate $300 and Leota Sang added a second. The motion passed 8-1 with Juniper opposing.
Council received an update on the proposed Skateboard Park. Tatterson informed Council that Denny Bellamy was informed that the City of Milton will not be selling their new ARC skateboard equipment. She also told Council the current grant for $15,000 expires June 30, 2011. With that being said, the concrete pad will be poured prior to the expiration date to fully utilize the funds.
Mayor Brian Billings asked Council to consider a $25 monthly increase for permanent campers at Krodel Campground effective July 1, 2011. The increase is necessary to cover the rising costs for electric utilities. The Mayor indicated that the average monthly electric bill is $50; however that is too much to raise the rent for those campers. Councilman Doeffinger recommended charging a base rent fee of $200 for those over the age of sixty-two and $225 for all others. Then a charge of $50 could be applied as a utility assessment to cover all utility costs. At the end of each year a new utility assessment can be made and that rate could be readjusted. Councilman Doeffinger made a motion to charge permanent renters a base rate of $200 for age sixty-two and over, and $225 for all others, then charge a $50 utility assessment would be applied to all base rent rates effective July 1, 2011. Mr. Cotton added the second motion, and the motion carried.
Mayor Billings spoke concerning grass and weeds that are growing along the edges of Krodel Lake causing a nuisance. Billings said that Jeremy Bryant, City Inspector, enclosed a letter that would inform Council of the situation and solutions. The current solution to address the situation would cost up to $12,000 so Mr. Billings told Council he has made contact with Gus Douglas’ at WV Department of Agriculture to offer alternative solutions. Billings said that twelve grass carp have been placed in the lake and it has been recommended to add two additional fountains. He will report back to Council after he speaks with Mr. Douglas.
Mayor Billings further addressed the Krodel dump notice received from the DEP. Billings stated the citation received requires the City to clean and dispose of all debris prior to July 10, 2011. The DEP will not allow burning and he feels Mr. Camp, with Biomass, gave an alternate solution to assist the City with yard debris. After further discussion it was decided to use City property located near the Point Pleasant Boat launch as a temporary solution until Mr. Camp can begin assisting. The site will be secured with fencing to prevent illegal dumping.
The Mayor then discussed a list of various locations for Neighborhood Watch Signs. Billings advised that the chairman for the Watch program has suggested placement of signs throughout the community and he will provide the list to the Police Chief and Street Commissioner for their review.
Mayor Billings provided Council with Article 909 pertaining to sidewalks. This matter was discussed during the May meeting when the Street Commissioner asked to make repairs to various sidewalks. Mayor Billings informed Council he would provide a copy of the ordinance to the Street Commissioner so he can instruct property owners of their responsibilities.
The Mayor stated he will be publishing specifications for a bid to pave a portion of road just above the Camden/Kanawha intersection to the Poplar Street railroad crossing. Councilman Juniper indicated a CSO line will likely be running through property located in that same area and that needs to be researched prior to paving. Juniper advised he would do the research and report his findings to the Mayor. Mayor Billings also stated that Councilwoman Sang has asked for letters to be submitted to local delegates and state officials asking for funding to pave streets.
The Mayor asked for Councilman Doeffinger to speak concerning water rates. Doeffinger indicated the City is losing approximately $15,000 per month because the City is not charging enough to cover the costs to produce water. Councilman Juniper asked to hold one more finance meeting to discuss rates. Councilman Doeffinger asked for research to be conducted asking the PSC if an emergency rate increase can be considered since the General fund is subsidizing the water fund. He also stated he would check his schedule and set up a finance meeting to discuss the rates.
** At 9:19 p.m. Mr. Bowles made a motion to go into executive session to discuss personnel issues. Marshall Bonecutter added the second motion, which passed.
** At 9:53 p.m. Linda Smith made a motion to come out of executive session and James Bowles added the second, and the motion passed
Mayor Billings advised Council that a Sewer Committee Meeting was held June 9, 2011 and he asked for Councilman Doeffinger to speak. Mr. Doeffinger advised that the Committee met with Kathy Elliott during that meeting and she had solicited Professional Service proposals for construction services, bond council, and an accountant. Doeffinger stated the Committee recommends Steptoe & Johnson to provide legal and bond Council for the North Point Pleasant Drainage Project. Their rate includes all expenses at a rate of $19,500 for bond and $7,500 for PSC work. Goodwin and Goodwin submitted a bid for the same amount, but failed to include all expenses. The Committee received only one bid for accounting and recommends Griffith & Associates for $19,000. Attorney R.F. Stein and Attorney Craig Tatterson submitted bids for the land acquisitions and Tatterson’s rate of $25,000 was the lowest bid received. Councilman Doeffinger asked to secure services from Steptoe & Johnson, Griffin & Associates, and Craig Tatterson. Mr. Juniper added the second and the motion passed 8-0-1 with Councilwoman Brown abstaining. Doeffinger concluded by advising Council that Kathy Elliott is contacting DEP concerning advertisement for the construction phase.
Gary Cotton asked if the street sweeper is in operation and was told it is still being used as needed. Cotton asked for the water meter deposit interest rate to be researched since the City had been paying four percent.
Robert Doeffinger reported vandalism to the floodwall and benches near his residence.
Leota Sang told Council there was a breaking and entering near her residence during daytime hours that went unreported by the local newspaper. She also asked for an update on the 14th Street railroad crossing and was told CSX provided a contract and Attorney Stein will review and report back to Council.
Elaine Hunt reported it has been over two years since the police department has received a pay raise. She stated they are facing more dangers when responding to emergency calls and have more paperwork to file than in the past. Mayor Billings advised he hopes to address pay raises for all departments at the next Council meeting. Hunt concluded by reporting a few complaints concerning Point Pleasant High School’s graduation ceremony that took place at the Point Pleasant Riverfront Park. Mayor Billings advised a meeting would be held with the Park Committee to revise the rental contract.
Linda Smith told Council that Derrick Taylor, campground manager, is doing a great job and he is now asking to open the concession building at Krodel. Taylor would like to sale water, pop, and shaved ice to generate revenue. Council recommended contacting a vending company to dispense water and soda. Smith concluded by discussing rates for rubber mulch for the playground at Krodel. After much discussion Council asked for rates to be submitted and further discussion could be considered in the July meeting.
Sam Juniper stated he only noticed the street sweeper in his ward two times last year and not at all this year. He then stated that the police department does face many dangers and put their lives on the line, but monthly police reports show some officers are more productive than others. Juniper asked Attorney Stein if letters were sent for delinquent municipal service fees, and Stein advised he would address the issue. Juniper concluded by asking Clerk Tatterson if she has researched an ordinance that pertains to Council’s wages. He stated that the last ordinance he located states Council receives $300 and they are currently collecting $660. Tatterson advised she researched records and spoke with Councilman Doeffinger and he indicated the pay has been $660 for the past 20 years. Juniper advised he would like to have his pay reduced to $300 since the ordinance states Council’s pay is $300. Councilman Bowles disagreed with a pay reduction for Council and recommended a raise since the meetings are becoming too long.
Being no other business, Councilwoman Smith made a motion to adjourn the meeting at 10:40 p.m. Mr. Cotton added the second and the motion carried.
Amber D. Tatterson, City Clerk
Brian L. Billings, Mayor